interesting PCmag article:
Pay For Play
For my evaluation and review of Norton 360, I installed the product on a dozen malware-infested systems. Most installed and ran flawlessly, but one system had a blue-screen crash during installation. On restart the Norton 360 installer gathered and analyzed error logs, then offered a link to support. I was impressed—most products don't have such resilient installers. I followed the link and initiated a conversation with chat support agent Mohanakrishnan (at least he didn't claim his name was Bob).
Mohanakrishnan asked some questions and (with my permission) took a remote-control tour of the system. He pointed out one blatant malware symptom: a big screen from a rogue antispyware program claiming it had found terrible problems and offering to fix them, for a price. He escalated me to another support agent in the Virus Removal Department, after verifying that I had a valid registration key. Sorry, if you get stuck during a trial installation, chat support is not available.
Prajith, the second agent, asked a lot of questions about my online activities but didn't bother to remote-control the system. He suggested I "remove the infection immediately." I pointed out that was my intention—I'm trying to install Norton 360 so it can remove the infection. He continued that "expert consultants will do a complete diagnosis of your system, and troubleshoot any malware present on your computer." Only after I agreed did he add that this is a for-pay service and ask if it would still be OK. He didn't state the price, but later research revealed that it would have been $99.95 to get this $79.99 product installed....
Taking Unfair Credit
As it turns out, the story doesn't end here. The Norton 360 installer still wouldn't complete its job. On every reboot, the app went through its whole rigmarole again, collecting and analyzing log files and sending me to tech support. It wouldn't complete the process and I couldn't uninstall the incomplete program. Once again, I followed the links to chat-based tech support.
Murugash, the chat agent, remote-controlled the system and verified that the Norton 360 installation was stuck. No problem. He downloaded the Symantec Norton Removal Tool (SYMNRT) to my test system. This is Symantec's answer to uninstallation problems that were common with older program versions. It removes all trace of all Symantec products. After running it he offered to "run a scan from the Norton security scan" to make sure all threats are gone. I asked if this is necessary, given that I've already scanned the system with the bootable Norton Recovery Tool. He said "it is a deep scan just from a online Norton program," so I let him do it.
To my surprise, he downloaded and ran the free Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware utility. This is, of course, not a Norton program by any stretch of the imagination. It did find a few traces of various threats left behind when the CD-based scan wiped out the executable parts. Now, don't get me wrong. I have no grudge against tech support using free tools from other sources for cleanup. It's a fairly common practice. I just resent it when they pass those tools off as their own....
Charging you twice for support? AND using MBAM as if they owned it? i've not had the best track record with Symantec...especially their support arm...but this takes the cake!